I also always went with the policy that the one who did the inviting, does the paying.
The thing I discovered as I began to date after divorcing my exH (before I met Dear Hubby
) was that if a man takes a woman out for dinner and does all that paying, he acts as if he has the right to something in return.
Now I don't date 2-3 men at a time. I tend to go one at a time, and only if I have some reason to say "I may want to know more about you." So if I was already a bit interested and he asked me out to dinner, I did expect him to pay and also to be a gentleman and not EXPECT sex in return for a dinner!
I knew of friends of mine who dated a different guy every night of the week just so she'd get free dinner and drinks, and I'm sorry to say that does seem like a transaction to me (aka 'I'll buy you dinner and booze if you blow me.') Hey they are consenting adults and can live the way they choose! Not my circus, not my monkeys!
But *I* am not that way, and thus I tended to be leery about going out on a dinner date until I knew a man from somewhere and had maybe a couple coffee dates or dutch lunches under our belts. If I had some reason to believe he was interested and fairly decent, I'd agree to go out to dinner if he invited, and I expected him to pay. If I invited him to dinner--which was rare but it happened--I'd pull out my wallet. I invited. But if there was ever that attitude of "I paid for dinner, now you'll pay me back"... well that's entitlement rearing its ugly head and I never picked p that phone again!!!!